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‘My money has been eaten at this building’

044 12.08.2012 (L-R) Democratic Alliance(DA) Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom, DA national spokesman in Gauteng Mmusi Maimane, addresses the media outside the Department of health and social development as they submit a memorandum to call to the department to pay Rasodi and other services providers who hat not received payment in full and on time. Bheka Gumede business partner of owner of Dikolobedi Transport CC Vorster Rasodi. Picture: Itumeleng English

044 12.08.2012 (L-R) Democratic Alliance(DA) Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom, DA national spokesman in Gauteng Mmusi Maimane, addresses the media outside the Department of health and social development as they submit a memorandum to call to the department to pay Rasodi and other services providers who hat not received payment in full and on time. Bheka Gumede business partner of owner of Dikolobedi Transport CC Vorster Rasodi. Picture: Itumeleng English

Published Aug 14, 2012

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Carrying a box and a black suitcase full of invoices and documents, Vorster Rasodi walked up 22 floors of a building hell-bent to get his grievance heard.

For 12 years, Rasodi – who lives in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni – has been waiting for the Gauteng Department of Health to pay him for services he rendered under his company Dikolobesodi Transport Systems cc.

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The services were to transport medicine to clinics, pharmacies and emergency services offices in and around Pretoria.

He did this under the agreement that the department would pay him per kilometre he travelled and according to the weight of the packages he carried in his vehicles.

He started his services to the department in May 2000 and was contracted for three years.

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A father of four, Rasodi, 52, was the only breadwinner for his household through the income he generated from his company.

To this day, Rasodi has not been paid for his services in full. He claims he is still owed R32 000 for the kilometres he travelled and R93 000 for the weight of material he carried in his trucks.

On Friday, flanked by DA MPL Jack Bloom and national spokesman Mmusi Maimane, Rasodi walked up the stairs of the department’s building to hand over a memorandum stating his grievance.

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“I’ve also added interest for the amounts that are outstanding because I’ve also been charged by banks. I’ve lost my cars, I’ve become blacklisted and lost my business because the department failed to pay me,” he said.

Rasodi said he had to let go some of his 25 employees because he couldn’t pay them in addition to losing the three trucks and five bakkies he owned.

“My money has been eaten here at this building… I’ve come here many times but still I haven’t been helped,” he said.

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In June this year, the department stated it had released more than R250 million to pay its outstanding fees to suppliers.

Bloom said Rasodi’s case was the worst he had come across in terms of the department defaulting on paying its suppliers. He said Rasodi had done everything in his power to get the matter resolved and had also called the Presidential Hotline, but to no avail.

“We are taking this case symbolically… How many more small businesses aren’t being paid? We have to have this matter resolved at least by the end of the month,” Maimane said.

The memorandum was accepted by the department’s head of stakeholder engagements, and feedback on the progress was expected today.

Meanwhile, Bloom claimed that at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, 100 operations were being cancelled weekly because suppliers weren’t paid for delivery of items such as surgical gloves.

“There’s also a theatre without lights, and the surgeon has to wear a headlamp. I think the department is in denial. They claim to have paid all the suppliers, yet every day I receive information of more suppliers still unpaid. We hope that through this memorandum we will get action,” he said.

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